60 Days and 60 Nights – My Noah’s Ark for Tough Times
After a bit if a hiatus, I am back to continue to share wonderful wellness tips and tricks for all you busy women. Hooray! I survived the last 60 days and have come out a bit beat up but happy and healthy.
Have you ever thought that things are starting to turn your way? You hesitatingly start to feel excited. You think, “I’ve paid dues and it’s my time now.” You have hope that a brighter horizon is on the way…and then WHAMMO!! Another tornado hits and you are thrown off your feet and slammed onto the ground!! OUCH! In that moment, I look up and ask, “REALLY??!! Didn’t I already meet my “3 bad things in row” limit?” What’s up with that?!! Now these thoughts are somewhat fleeting and I quickly realize that this is life. Life is constant change. I know it, I expect it and I embrace it! It is also the reason that every day, I bring myself back into the present as often as I can, so I can savor and enjoy those times of joy, peace and moments of grace everyday. It allows space for experiencing happiness and contentment in my life regardless of my circumstances.
Sooooo, what happened and how did I make it across the fierce waves of change and challenge, fairly unscathed and content?? Amongst other challenges I was teeter tottering at the time, in November 2015, my dearest older brother (also one of my very best friends), caught a bacterial infection that went septic and rampaged through his entire body and nearly killed him. He was in the ICU area for over 60 days fighting for his life. It was a very long waiting game of life and death for him. Please don’t think that I am complaining because the truth is, I have been in his place and I would not wish that on anyone. I was the lucky one but I knew I had to pull out all the ammo I had to get through this and be there for my brother, my family and myself.
This is a long timeframe to be in stress and anxiety and it is NOT good for the mind, body or soul. Throughout the time, I would experience moments of panic and anxiety. My brain and my thoughts would start to go crazy, cluttering my mind with stories of what might happen and thinking of worst case scenarios about my brother. My mind also asked the question…would I be able to keep up with the hours of driving each week to advocate and visit my brother, take care of my kids and family, meet my other obligations and maintain my practice? I would also riddle myself with guilt if I didn’t go visit. “I’m a bad sister, I’m selfish, he will think I don’t care…blah, blah, blah.”
So, I pulled out my life jacket and proceeded to make my way through the rough waters.
BREATHE… In those moments, first I would breathe slow diaphragmatic(expand the belly) breaths, 5 seconds in, hold for 5 seconds, and release as slowly as possible for 10 seconds for about 2 minutes. Breathing immediately slows your heart rate, cortisol levels caused by the initial stressor go down and you can think just a little more clearly to analyze what’s really going on.
ASK QUESTIONS TO CHANGE YOUR MINDSET…Then, I would ask myself the following…”Is this thought true? Is it absolutely true? Is this thought serving me well?” Of course, the answer is no, no and a resounding NO! This exercise immediately made me feel more in control of my thoughts realizing that I am making up my own stress and my own stories. I would thank those thoughts for visiting and say goodbye and I felt better. TaDa!! Easy-Peasy, right?
I also practiced other tools.
GET QUIET… I was diligent with my daily meditation practice or “get quite time” as I refer to it because meditation is a scary word for some people. This was KEY to my ability to maintain and make clear decisions and priorities not only for myself but for my brother. Each morning, I got quiet for at least 20 -30 minutes and more if I had time but the important thing was that I knew that I had to make my quiet time my number one priority. Without it, my days were rough, foggy and busy but not as productive or focused as the days I meditated. I rarely missed a day. The benefits of meditation are almost endless but that deserves more than I can cover here.
INTUITION AND ENERGY MANAGEMENT…I also dug deep into my body and my intuition to guide me. I had to manage not only my time but my energy so I would not be depleted when my kids came home from school. So I would use my gut along with my mind to determine priorities for each day. I knew I could not do everything so I did what mattered and I knew what mattered absolutely.
ASK FOR HELP/HAVE A SUPPORT TRIBE…I am not one who likes to ask for help but over the years I have learned that it takes courage to ask for help when you need it. It is an expression of strength and leadership, to first recognize that you can’t do it alone and secondly, to reach out to others for support. I am truly blessed with an amazing set of friends who create my village when I need help. I call on them and they reach out to me as well. If you don’t have a tribe or village, I highly recommend gathering one up ASAP! Tip: Make sure you are discerning and surround yourself only with those people that fill your bucket and not the energy vampires or drama queens.
MOVEMENT…I am a huge advocate of exercise and I exercised every day to help keep my stress at bay and stay physically fit. I would make sure to go to the gym, run, dance or do yoga before my day started. It is an excellent and fun way to start the day feeling energized and ready to take on whatever is to come.
These few practices just touch the surface of how I made it through the last 2- 3 challenging months and how I help my clients achieve similar results in their lives. I hope you find some part that you can take with you and use the next time life brings you lemons. It’s been a whirlwind but I had the tools and practices in place to make it through with grace.
By the way, my brother is doing much better now and is recovering in a rehab facility in San Francisco.
Sending you all wellness wishes, hugs and love!
GOOD NEWS: If this post resonated with you and you want to discover more about how you can learn these practices to better manage not only your challenging moments but your life, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot!
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!! I HAVE STARTED MY OWN MEETUP GROUP just for you!! It’s called Happy Healthy Woman Entrepreneurs Meetup. Please click on the link below to read the details and RSVP to attend the event or join the meetup group if interests you.
More Wellness tips:
Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra are teaming up again for another life changing 21-day meditation experience. This is a great way to get started if you have never meditated and if you already meditate, it is a great addition to your current practice. It is free for 21-days! Even if you have no intention of ever meditating, it is worth listening to 1 or 2 days just to start your day with positive feelings. Here is the link to sign up: https://chopracentermeditation.com/
Sending you all wellness wishes, hugs and love,